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The ROPO effect (research online, purchase offline) suggests that more than 90% of all in-store purchases are researched online first.

Today the retail industry must reposition itself now that the pandemic has changed, as have shopper expectations. Future success will depend on the retailer’s ability to adapt business models and create shopping experiences that engage and delight. Retail has evolved – what do modern shoppers expect, what do they love? Now is the time for brands to ambitiously reimagine their customer relationships and set the bar high for their competition. This means focusing the entire business on delivering exceptional experiences, which is what we call the experience business. It involves reconfiguring the customer-facing functions of the organization: marketing, commerce, sales and service. The experience business is an approach that enables organizations to focus on the customer and drive growth and innovation.

We have said it many times: the consumer has become more demanding over the years and expects to have a fully diversified or integrated experience with the brands they interact with.

How can brands take advantage of the ROPO effect?

The ROPO effect (Research Online, Purchase Offline) basically lies in the deep search through the Internet for a particular product or service and then make the purchase physically. According to experts, this is part of the omnichannel behavior of today’s users.

After analyzing this evolution, we share four actions that companies or brands could execute to take advantage of this strategy:

1. Create a multichannel strategy

It is of utmost importance that companies offer a positive customer experience, regardless of the channel or channels that the customer decides to use to manage their purchase (multichannel strategy). The most ideal, then, is to establish a close link between the online and physical store, where people can compare the prices of products or services and end up going to the store to make the purchase. According to statistics, consumers who adopt this effect spend around 33% more than those who do not make previous searches on the web.

2. Offering a good consumer experience

There are countless benefits that e-commerce offers, however, a good part of consumers want to check the details of the product before purchasing it, and that is the reason why they go to the physical store. Based on this, brands must offer a good customer experience through the different channels they have, because it is at that point where the user begins to investigate, compare and buy. It is important to remember that the pandemic changed the behavior of consumers: 82% of them buy online and 66% do it through their smartphones.

3. Identify the factors that inhibit consumers from buying online

According to various research, there are currently four main factors that limit consumers from making purchases through the digital channel. These are:

Fear of fraud, at 50%.
Avoidance of sharing personal data, 44.4%.
Lack of trust in online sales channels, 41.7%.
Preference for buying in the physical store, in 38.9%.

4. Offering a secure online shopping experience

Having a clear understanding of the factors that inhibit consumers from buying online, the company should develop strategies that offer greater certainty and convenience to them, such as: opt-in or subscription functions through messaging, or using verified text messages to inform about the various offers or launches.

Adjusting your strategy to the ROPO effect opens up a new world of possibilities because it allows you to see all your products in interconnected channels. This way your online store becomes an extension of your offline store and vice versa.

Author: Mariana Alvarez